Carla's Tips

Cooking better doesn’t have to be hard. For delicious food, faster, easier, follow these simple tips from Carla Snyder at

Quick Fix:

How to safely store and thaw meat and poultry. Meat is an investment no one can afford to waste. How many times have you looked at those frozen chicken breasts in your freezer and told yourself you’ll cook them next week only to let months go by and they ended up with freezer burn? Read below and do it right.

  1. Remove the meat or poultry from the packaging and freeze the amount you will cook for one meal in a freezer zip lock bag. The manufacturer’s packaging is not meant to protect the food for extended periods of freezing temperatures. You will also have less waste by only thawing and cooking the amount you need. Freeze for no more than 6 months.
  2. To thaw, transfer the bag to the refrigerator the night before or if you forget and need it faster, you can submerge the bag in a sink of cold water for an hour or so. Do not thaw meat on the counter for the day. It has the potential to attract harmful bacteria.
  3. It’s possible to use the microwave to thaw meat. Use very low power or the thaw feature on your microwave if it has one. Keep it moving to avoid cooking it.
  4. If wrapped up right, chicken, turkey and steaks can be frozen for up to 6 months but hamburger is best thawed and used within 3 to 4 months.
  5. Hamburger, chicken, sausage and turkey stored in the refrigerator should be cooked within 1 to 2 days. Steaks can chill for 3 to 5 days before cooking.


We're Heinen's Grocery Stores, a Cleveland, OH based family-owned grocery store established in 1929. Focused on quality meats, fresh market produce and superior customer service, we make grocery shopping something to smile about.